Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire by Janet & Geoff Benge – A Book Review

The girls and I have been making our way through YWAM’s Heroes of History series in chronological order as our history curriculum this year.  This is working perfectly for Cuddle Bug as she loves to be read to.

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We just finished Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire by Janet & Geoff Benge.  What a book it was!  I learned many new things right alongside the girls.

Ben Franklin was the 10th of 10 sons, so his father decided that he would “tithe” Ben and make him a minister.  Ben wasn’t quite so fond of this idea.  He went to school for awhile, until his father realized that Ben would never make a minister, especially since he didn’t even like to say his prayers.  Instead, Ben’s father put him to work in the family candle making shop, which Ben hated.

Ben’s father realized this arrangement wouldn’t work, either, so after some various placements, he finally found one that fit.  Ben was apprenticed to his older brother to work in his print shop.  This worked for a few years, but at 17, Ben craved his independence, so he ran away and eventually found himself in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia would be Ben’s home for the rest of his life.

Of course, everyone knows about Ben Franklin and the kite he flew with a key on it during a storm.  We all know about Poor Richard’s Almanac, and Ben’s famous sayings.  However, I didn’t know he lead what was likely a scandalous life at the time, having a child out of wedlock and having a common law wife.  I also didn’t know that Ben’s son, William, was a staunch loyalist, and as one can imagine, that caused quite a division between Ben and his son.

I was also amazed at the many, many things Ben invented.  So many of our modern conveniences were invented by Ben Franklin!

While I’ve loved all of the YWAM books we have read so far, this one was by far packed with the most information.  In fact, when we finished the story, Cuddle Bug had a little fake cry.  Ending the book was like saying goodbye to a friend we’d made.  I highly recommend this book to learn more about Ben Franklin.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.



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